Militants involved in J&K highway attack traced, gunfight on

Jammu: Three militants who fired at two persons on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Udhampur district before escaping were tracked down to a house in Reasi district on Thursday, police said.

A gunfight has erupted between the holed up militants and security forces following evacuation in the area.

The militants on board a truck attacked a checkpost in Jhajar Kotli area of Udhampur injuring a CRPF trooper and a forest guard on Wednesday. They then abandoned the vehicle and vanished in the bushes. A search operation has been on ever since.

The army, police and the Central Reserve Police Force tracked militant movement using drones, helicopters and other surveillance gadgets in the bushy forests of Jhajar and adjoining areas.

“They were finally tracked down to a house in Kakriyal area near Mata Vaishno Devi University,” the officer said.

The villagers were promptly evacuated from the area as the final assault on the militants was launched.

A villager earlier told the security forces that around 10 p.m. the three armed militants carrying haversacks entered his home, changed their clothes, took biscuits and water and left.

Traffic on the national highway between Nagrota-Jhajar Kotli was suspended on Thursday. Schools in the area were also closed for the day.

The police on Wednesday detained the driver and helper of the truck. One AK-47 rifle and three magazines were also recovered.

A police statement later said the three militants were carrying two AK-47 rifles, a pistol and haversacks.